end of the year. he headed to hiroshima after the end of the g7 summit. he travelled to peace memorial park and laid flowers at a cenotaph dedicated to the victims. survivors were among those who attended the event. obama gave a speech that so many had been waiting to hear. >> 71 years ago, on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky, and the world was changed. a flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city. and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself. why do we come to this place? to hiroshima.
we come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not so distant past. we come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 japanese men, women and children, thousands of koreans, a dozen americans held prisoner. their souls speak to us. they ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become. it is not the fact of war that sets hiroshima apart. artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very
first man. our early ancestors, having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood, used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind. on every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war. whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. empires have risen and fallen, peoples have been subjugated and liberated. and at each juncture innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.
the world war that reached its brutal end in hiroshima and nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. their civilizations had given the world great cities and magnificent art. their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. and yet, the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination, for conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern, amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints. in the span of a few years some
60 million people would die. men, women, children, no different than us, shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death. there are many sites around the world that chronicle this war, memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism. graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity. yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly
reminded of humanity's core contradiction, how the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our tool-making, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will, those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction. how often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth. how easily we learn t to justif violence in the name of some higher cause. every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as
a license to kill. nations arise, telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats, but those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different. science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos but those discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines. the wars of the modern age teach us this truth. hiroshima teaches this truth.
technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. the scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well. that is why we come to this place. we stand here, in the middle of this city, and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. we force ourselves to feel the dread of children, confused by what they see. we listen to a silent crime. we remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that
terrible war and the wars that came before and the wars that would follow. mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. but we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again. someday the voices of the hibakusha will no longer with be us to bear witness. but the memory of the morning of august 6th, 1945, must never fade. that memory allows us to fight complacency.
it fuels our moral imagination. it allows us to change. and since that fatefulay we have made choices that give us hope. the united states and japan forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war. the nations of europe buiuilt a union that replaced battlefields with bonds of commerce and democracy. oppressed peoples and nations won liberation. an international community established institutions and treaties that work to avoid war and aspire to restrict and roll
back and ultimately eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons. still, every act of aggression between nations, every act of terror and corruption and cruelty and oppression that we see around the world shows our work is never done. we may not be able to eliminate man's capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we formed must possess the means to defend ourselves. but among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpileses, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. we may not realize this goal in
my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility off catastrophe. we can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. we can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics. and yet, that is not enough. for we see around the world today how even the crudest rifles and barrel bombs canan serve up v violencee o on a a t scale. wewe m must change our mindset t war itself, to prevent conflict through diplomacy and strive to end conflicts after they've
begun. to see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation and not violent competition. to define our nations not by our capacity to destroy but by what we build. and perhaps above all, we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race. for this too is what makes our species unique. we're not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. we can learn. we can choose. we can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity. one that makes war less likely. and cruelty less easily accepted.
we see these stories in the hibakusha, the woman who for gave a pilot to flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she e realized that wha she hated was war itself. the man who sought out families of americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own. my own nation's story began with simple words. all men are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
realizing that ideal has never been easy. even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. but staying true to that story is worth the effort. it is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans. the irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family. that is the story that we all must tell. that is why we come to
hiroshima. so that we might think of people we love, the first smile from our children in the morning, the gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. the comforting embrace of a parent. we can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here 71 years ago. those who died, they are like us. ordinary people understand this, i think. they do not want more wawar.
they would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life and not eliminating it. when the choice is made by nations, when the choices made by leaders reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of hiroshima is done. the world was forever changed here. but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace. what a precious thing that is. it is worth protecting. and then extending to every
child. that is a future we can choose. a future in which hiroshima and nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening. [ applause ] >> translator: last year was the 70th year since the end of the war, and i had a chance to visit the united states and had a chance to speak to lawmakers in the ununited states as the prim minister of japan.
that war took away many lives of young people in the united states and took away their dreams and futures, and that was a very harsh history. i thought about that again, and i thought about those people who lost their lives in the unitete states in the war, and i gave my honor to them all. and over the last 70 years many people worked very hard for reconciliation of japan and the united states. i expressed my thanks and also respect to all these people who have done that for -- in japan and the united states.
the former foes, after 70 year, they became friends, very close friends, who are now tied as alliances. and ouour alliance between the united states and japan is and must be an alliance that would give hope to the rest of the world. that's what i urge thehe r rest the world. it's been one year since then. now i am very happy to be able to welcome the u.s. president barack obama, visiting for the first timeme as t sitting u.s. president. he has seen what can a nuclear bomb -- nuclear bomb can do to us, and he reconfirmed his
determination to work continuously for a world without nuclear weapons. i think he has given a great hope to all the people in the world for a world without nuclear weapons. people in hiroshima and not only people in hiroshimama but all t people in j japan have been wishing to havave this visit.t. and i would likee to welcomeme president again with all the people in this country, and i believe we are opening a new page in our history. and president obama's decision isis the one that opens a new page. i express my great respect to his very difficult decision but
very wonderful decision. just a while ago president obama and i myself paid our tribute to all those victimized in the atomic bomb explosions 71 years ago in hiroshima and nagasaki, just one single a-bomb took away so many people's lives, including children's lives. it was a horrific experience for us. each one of the victims had their own lives and also dreams. they had families to lolove. it was realllly a natural reali. and when i think of this fact, i
cannot feel a great sorrow even today because of the experience and the exposure to the radiation, many people continue to suffer from it 71 years ago in this very place many people experienced such a horrible, horrific experience which cannot be expressed in words. i am sure they thought of many different things when they were experiencing that, but one thing i am sure we can say for sure is as follows. no matter where you are in the world, we should never allow that sort of horrible
experiences to be had by anybody. and this is our determination. this determination of ours would have to be carried on. and that is our responsibility, creating a world without nuclear weapons. we must work very hard for that purpose, no matter how hard it is, no matter how long it would take us to realize that world. it is our responsibility, who live in this world today, and those people who were born on that or living in that day, on that day, they lit a light for the future. we have to continue to work
together for peace and prosperity of the world in the future. and this is, i believe, our responsibility who live in this world today. we must work hard, do our best to fulfill that responsibility and, to that end, the people in the united states and japan must become the flame or light for hope for that world to be brought about. and i share that strong determination with president obama, in hiroshima and nagasaki, where so many people perish in the explosions of an atomic bomb, i think fulfilling this responsibility would be the
only way to respond to the desires and hopes of the people who perished in the explosions. [ applause ] afterward obama greeted survivors, known as hibakusha. the presidentt chatted with the, held their hands and even embraced one of them. for many years the hibakusha have been calling on u.s. presidents to visit their city to see for themselves the devastation that the bomb caused. joining us now is nhk "newsline's" editor in chief. we've been covering obama's historic visit together. the atomic bombings impacted the lives of many people throughout generations, including two young men. both of their families have close connections with the bombings and both were in hiroshima during the president's visit. >> reporter: 27-year-old yoke yama volunteers to guide
visitors around peace p park in his home town of hiroshima. >> it's not far. it's very close. >> reporter: his grandmother, kyoko, is a survivor who now lives in a nursing home. 71 years ago she saw the city after it had been completely destroyed. >> translator: i still remember that time. it makes me feel so lonely. >> reporter: the memory haunts her. but now she has a message too share with f future generations >> translator: as a grandmother, is there anything you would like to pass on to me? what sort of h hope do you have for peace? >> translator: no war -- no wars should ever happen again.
molly: welcome to the "france 24 " newsroom. the headlines this hour -- tributes but no apologies. barack obama makes a historic visit to hiroshima. the president meets briefly with survivors as he decries the horrors of war. empty gas pumps, closed nuclear power plants, and violent protests. demonstrationsom against labor reform. do t